By Jordan Hughes
Bond University will field two teams in week one of the Queensland Premier Rugby finals with the Premier Women’s team and the men’s second grade side both playing on Super Sunday in Brisbane.
The women face rivals Sunnybank at 10.30am before second grade take the field at 1:30pm against the GPS Gallopers. Both matches will be played at Wests Rugby Club.
ROAD TO FINALS
The Premier Women’s side finished fourth on the ladder after a consistent season, winning 10 out of 16 games and drawing twice.
The men’s second grade side needed to win their final round to sneak into the top four and they didn’t disappoint- delivering a thrilling three-point win over Easts.
The men finished the year in third place with nine wins, two draws and five losses and will come into the match against the Gallopers full of confidence.
THE MATCH UPS
The Bull Sharks women met Sunnybank back in round 1, displaying the dominance they would become renowned for this season, winning 32-10.
When they met again in round 11 the teams couldn’t be split- the tense match ending in a 17-all draw.
In a major boost for Bond, Australian Wallaroo squad member Melanie Wilks returns to add extra spark out wide.
The second grade men’s team will take on the Gallopers- both sides have posted a win over the other this season.
Last time the sides met in round 12, the Bull Sharks emerged 24-22 point winners.
Bond will welcome back flyer Hamish Roberts and front row enforcer Levi Samuela into the squad for the must-win match up.
WHAT THEY SAID
Premier Women’s captain Elisha Godsiff said her side has learned from the narrow defeat against Easts last weekend in which Bond had a weight of possession but couldn’t get over the line.
“I think it was just our execution overall, we had a lot of territory but couldn’t execute the one percenters, which really hurt especially around our discipline throughout the match,” said Godsiff.
“We expect Sunnybank to be big and powerful up front, so defence is going to be key for us, and we want to use our speed out wide and look to put our wingers in some space.”
Second grade skipper Justin Bernstein is no stranger to success in finals football having been part of the premiership winning reserve grade side in 2015.
Bernstein will lead the side out against GPS on Sunday and knows they will need to be wary.
“GPS play a very forward dominant game and will be strong at set piece and they will look to get their big pack involved early and try to bully us,” said Bernstein.
“For us the focus is just about limiting our errors and maintaining our discipline. When we hold onto the ball and keep our patience we are tough to stop.”
MATCH DAY INFORMATION
Wests Rugby Club – Sunday 4th September
Premier Women v Sunnybank Dragons – 10:30am
Second Grade v GPS Gallopers – 1:30pm